President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has directed the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs led by Peter Nwaoboshi to steer clear of the Interim Management Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), put in place by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
His remarks were on the heels of 2019 and 2020 Budget Estimates of the NDDC earlier presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
While referring the estimate to the Committee on Niger Delta, the President of the Senate frowned at the continued operation of the Interim Management Committee despite the Senate confirmation of the substantive Board of the NDDC.
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He said:” I want to also reiterate here that you (Senate Committee on NDDC) deal with the governing board this Senate has approved.”
Members of the 15-member NDDC Governing Board confirmed by the Senate included the duo of Bernard Okumagba and Dr Pius Odubu as Chairman and Managing Director, respectively.
The supervising minister, Senator Akpabio, had earlier put in place a 3-man Interim Management Committee to administer the Commission.
Those appointed included the Acting Managing Director, Dr Joi Nunieh, Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang and the Acting Executive Director, Projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh.
Senators, who spoke during the confirmation of the nominees of President Muhammadu Buhari, had described the creation of an interim management Committee by Senator Akpabio as a usurpation of the legislative powers of the Red Chamber.